Municipal Energy Planning : Scope and Method Development

Sammanfattning: Swedish municipalities are required to produce a municipal energy plan for their energy supply and use. Whether energy planning is suitable to manage local energy systems, however, is subject to debate. This thesis maps municipal energy planning: the scopes of energy plans and whether goals stated in energy plans are fulfilled. It also presents a pilot project with the implementation of an energy planning process where four different decision-making tools were applied: a Citizen’s panel, scenario techniques and quantitative and qualitative environmental assessments. The results from the mapping of energy planning and the experiences from the pilot project are then the bases for a discussion about the effectiveness of energy planning. The thesis is based on six papers; five scientific papers and one working paper. The first three papers contribute to mapping municipal energy planning in terms of expressed volition (goals, measures and strategies in the energy plans), whether goals are fulfilled and the extent of environmental analyses and assessments in the plans. The three subsequent papers present the implementation and evaluations of the energy planning process in the pilot project. The scopes of the studied energy plans have varied over time and have been adaptive to external factors such as contemporary energy policies and international trends. Environmental analyses and assessments were more commonly occurring in the energy plans adopted between 2006 and 2008 compared to those adopted between 1995 and 1998. The environmental analyses and assessments were however less comprehensive in the newer energy plans. Most positive development, in terms of fulfilled goals, took place for issues within the power of the local authority, for example district heating expansion and energy efficiency measures in public buildings. Experiences from the pilot project showed that decision-making tools can contribute to a broader scope of energy planning, more comprehensive environmental assessments and legitimacy. Based on the research findings possibilities for more effective energy planning are discussed. Effectiveness is discussed in terms of scope and legitimacy and how a broad scope and legitimacy are affected by the use of decision-making tools. It is concluded that energy planning has potential for being an effective tool for strategic energy work at the local level. The use of decision-making tools can also contribute to learning as well as legitimacy to energy planning.